January 6, 2017

When Halloween Comes Softly

I know…seems like an oxymoron…pairing halloween and softly…but it’s possible. I love the colors of fall, in fact, fall is my favorite season of the year. Out of my love, all the planner sticker designs I create take a soft vintage approach to the vivid colors of the season. My latest planner sticker release, Fall Comes Softly!, is a good example.

When I first saw the Brutus Monroe Stamp Club September stamp I started thinking about ways I could incorporate the cute designs into my planner decorating without it screaming “Halloween!”. In my earlier blog post you’ll see just how I came up with the “bouquet of brooms” idea. I carried that design idea into these quick and simple little pieces for both my Erin Condren and Happy Planners (MAMBI).

I started on the Silhouette, cutting white coverstock backgrounds, using the digital die cuts that I created for the two images. Just a note…I cut a total of forty-eight brooms knowing that I was going to put them all to good use as the season comes around! I say, if you are going to cut one, cut a bunch and store them in little sandwich bags — just be careful, they may be mistaken for potato chips and get tossed in your lunch bag one sleepy morning! Using Brutus Monroe Detail Ink in Raven, I brought the stark white pieces to life — all with a single black stamp. My favorite part of these stamps is the detail. That detail is what makes it so easy for those of us who are not fine-artists to create items that look cute. I used colored pencils to finish each broom. (Staring with a yellow as the base color, then adding some shadows with a golden brown and finally adding in some depth with a darker copper brown.) I stamped the Happy Halloween sentiment on background pieces I also cut and colored it slightly just to highlight some shadows. A little side note — as you know by now, I have some dexterity issues with my hands so I am always looking for ways around certain things. As I stamp more, I am loving my 2” x 6” acrylic block. Putting the stamp in the middle area of the long skinny block, I have room to securely hold the block in each hand while stamping. I’ve just found it helps keep the stamp from rocking and blurring. I don’t see this size on the Brutus Monroe Shop but stay tuned…I think there are some new blocks being released in the not-so-distant future.

Putting it all together was pretty quick. From heavy coverstock, I cut scalloped circles from a print from my Fall Comes Softly! release. I used the mirror feature on the Silhouette so I would have a front and a back piece that lined up. I then arranged three brooms in bouquet fashion on the circle and taped them in place. I did trim a bit off the two circles just so the finished clip would be straight across on the bottom, making it easier to snuggle into the top of my planner page. Sandwiching a big paper clip in between the two layers, I taped it all together securely. I added another broom peeking into the bottom corner of the planner page and the final touch was the Happy Halloween sentiment in the right of the bold bottom washi. Done and dusted!

I am starting to feel much more comfortable in this new (after a break of many years) world of paper crafting. So far I am over the moon with the Brutus Monroe stamps — so much perfect detail. I never ever saw that much detail in my old hand carved blocks in the 70s! I think the Detail Ink has something to do with it all too — it gives me precise prints every time and no matter what I layer over it there is no smearing or running. A little note — remember to stamp your new stamps once just to prepare them for their stamping future. I do hope my adventure inspires you to step into the world of stamping, planning and paper. Sometimes it is intimidating to watch videos of experts who have been stamping and coloring for years and years — so many tools, products, papers, oh my! I’m hear to tell you that with only a few basic tools and products you can make treasures that you are proud of — yes, there will be some oopsies — but that is how we learn, isn’t it? We all fell down when we learned to walk; but that didn’t keep us from getting up again and taking a few more steps. So just keep baby stepping with your projects and before you know it you’ll be up and off in a full sprint!

As you may know, I had the good fortune to be a member of the Brutus Monroe Inspiration Team in 2016. I thought it would be fun to share my posts from that blog with all of you here. Hope you enjoy!

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